Last Updated on by Catherine Tobsing
I read your post on full-spectrum light treatment for birds laying eggs.
I am going to try it with my Eclectus parrot.
I have the lights, do I start with a 72 hour on period and then go to 12-hour cycles?
I really need something to work.
She was egg bound at the end of August 2021 and now, she’s on eggs again. Feb. 2022.
Thanks for any advice. We were at the vet on Monday and she suggested this treatment
Very sorry to hear about your poor hormonal Ecky. If you are petting and snuggling with your bird it has to stop and only pet her from the neck up.
If your birdcage is a play top and has a solid top then the tray has to come out and stay out.
No tents, no huts, no piles of paper, shredder toys, no loose ball toys. All toys have to be hanging or attached to the cage so she can’t sit on them.
Foot toys are fine, just no balls or things she will consider eggs. All hanging toys should be moved to the inside walls of the cages so none can lay on her back which is stimulating. If she wants to play with them she will move closer to them.
She cannot have cardboard boxes to chew or be allowed to play under shelves, cabinets, in closets, or under blankets, towels.
Food dishes. Keep them no more than 1/4 full and best to remove them at night. A bird who feels that food is plentiful may want to raise a family.
Okay, lighting. How big is the cage? If 20″-22″ wide then one is enough. But if a big 30″ plus wide cage, then you will need 2, maybe 3 bulbs mounted as very close to the top of the cage so it shines into the whole thing. Be sure to move any hanging toys to the sides so they don’t block the light.
Okay. To control hormones, the light needs to be on for 12 hours and off for 12. Put on a timer. Forever. We are currently doing ours from 8:30 am ON to 8:30 pm OFF. (DST)
To reset her hormones (circadian rhythm) then you would leave the light ON for 72 hours straight, 3 days, 3-4 nights. The light affects the Pineal Gland through the eyes. The bird stays in the cage for the full 3 days and nights. Yes, you can visit and talk and love her. Just put her right back in the cage.
At night you can wrap a sheet or blanket around the cage sides and secure it with clips so she is allowed to rest and not be influenced by you. Yes, she will nap and sleep at all hours, eat at all hours and call out at all hours. It will be harder on you than her.
The eggs and nesting materials should be removed before you start this. Shield yourself for safety with a piece of cardboard if you must.
After the 72 hours are up, she may appear like she wants to nest again, but wait a day, it may pass. But if it starts all over again, you can re-do the treatment for up to 7 days and nights. But the 3-day treatment should work. Then get the lighting set on the timer for 12 on and 12 off, forever.
Please let us know if you have further questions.
Let us know how it works. Full results will be more apparent in 30 days.
Thank you so much for your quick and thorough reply.
All of those things you mentioned, I have tried very hard to implement for many years.
No touching, no nesting material, no hidey holes, no soft, mushy or warm food.
She is sitting on 3 fake eggs now.
Should I wait until she abandons them to start the treatment?
I am afraid to take them from her for fear she will feel the need to make more.
The vet suggested I just leave the eggs with her all the time 24/7…365.
Suggesting if she thinks she has eggs, she won’t make more.
Sadly, I think I am the trigger. She’s very bonded to me. I have had her for 17 years.
No other person in the house with us.
My understanding is that Ekkies, in the wild breed 4x per year.. which puts me at a disadvantage if it’s true. Thank you very much for your help.
Nope, get rid of the eggs. She could sit on them for a month or longer. Out of sight out of mind. We tried the fake eggs thing. Doesn’t work.
Ekkies are also open to sex with other species (other types of parrots) so yes, they are sexy beasts.
Get her going on the treatment. It costs nothing but time and can’t hurt.
All of our birds are different so I can’t say exactly. But if you don’t make changes, then the problem can return down the line. Yes, you can light treat her again.
What do you do with her besides house her and let her sit with you? Does she have a big play stand she can sit on during the day? perhaps look out the window? Do you have playtimes? Can you put her in a carrier and go outside to the park? See other people?
Is she clipped or does she fly? If clipped have her follow you around, up the stairs, down the stairs.
I recommend putting her on a schedule of events. Lights go on at the same time, the cover comes off at the same time. Breakfast is served at the same time.
Out of cage time, nap time, playtime, dinner time, snack time before lights go out, etc. They learn to look forward to these things which helps ease anxiety.
If all she does is chew up stuff then she needs more stimulation or will continue to follow the procreation habits.
You can put treats or pellets or nuts in dixie cups, fold them over and leave them for her to find on her cage and play areas.
Ok. Thank you so much.
Can you tell me what to expect in terms of behavior once eggs are removed and lighting implemented?
What kind of enrichment can I. Provide for her? She is clicker trained and will execute a few tricks before losing interest and wants to go to the floor looking for a nest.
More showers? She’s really kind of a deadbeat. If she can’t chew things up what can she do?
I am sorry to take so much of your time. Short of rehoming her, I am down to this last idea.
She watches tv with me, she has a play area with a large cargo net she will climb on, outdoor aviary in good weather, clicker training. Showers with me. Foraging toys with treats. She has lots of interactive toys but isn’t really interested. She flies, not clipped.
I will try to change things up again. I appreciate your help.